Sunday, April 26, 2015

The 3 - April 26 2015

In this week's edition of The 3, my week-in-review feature, a couple who once owned a bakery in Oregon has been fined over a hundred thousand dollars for not providing a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony.   Also, the Secret Church, which has been conducted for a number of years and has a component of remembering the persecuted church, was forced to originate from an undisclosed location due to threats at the event's scheduled site.  And, another video attributed to the radical Islamic group ISIS features the deaths of over two dozen Ethiopian Christians.

3 - Oregon bakers ordered to pay stiff fines; funding campaign awareness

There continue to be implications of the decision by Aaron and Melissa Klein to not participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony by baking a cake for it.  The Kleins are the owners of the former bakery known as Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, Oregon.

According to a report on the WORLD Magazine website, the Kleins have been ordered by a judge to pay $135,000 in fines.  This ruling comes almost three months after Administrative Judge Alan McCullough ruled the couple violated an Oregon statute prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The funds will go to the lesbian couple for “emotional, mental, and physical suffering.”

WORLD reports that a supporter of the Kleins set up a fundraising page at GoFundMe and had raised more than $66,000 when the site decided to shut it down. GoFundMe said the Kleins would be able to access the money raised so far.

Why?  The Kleins were quoted as saying, according to the Sweet Cakes by Melissa Facebook page, “The GoFundMe account that was set up to help our family was shut down by the administrators of GoFundMe because they claimed it was raising money for an illegal purpose,” adding, “We are working to get the account reinstated.”  Samaritan's Purse has set up a special place on its website through which people can donate to the Kleins.

2 - Secret Church threatened; simulcast originates from undisclosed location

When David Platt, now President of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, was the Pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, he began an event called "Secret Church."  The Christian Post reports that last year alone, the event, which has been developed into a simulcast distributed to multiple locations, drew almost 61,000 participants, as tens of thousands of Christians from various countries watched the simulcast.

The Post article quotes the Radical website about the event, which says, "Secret Church is a time where we join together to study God's Word and to identify with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted in countless places around the world..."

When you think of our fellow believers who have to meet in secret locations, isn't it interesting and ironic that this year's Secret Church was held at an undisclosed location?  The Post article quoted the announcement on the ministry website, which said, "Due to security concerns, the elders and leadership at the church have decided to close the church for the simulcast. The simulcast will take place, but not at Brook Hills. If you are a ticket holder, information has been sent to you via email."

The article said that the church's communication director, Chris Kinsley told the Yellowhammer website, "We want to ensure the safety of our staff and members, and all those who are going to participate," adding, "We live in a world where our fellow Christians around the world face threats on a daily basis. We're lucky enough to live in a country where that is unusual, but when it does happen we want to take it seriously but also not allow it to cause us to shrink back from the message we have to share."

The Post reported that the staff of Brook Hills and pupils of the preschool were evacuated, and police and fire departments were called to do a sweep of the building hours before the scheduled gathering. Nothing was found.

more at
This year's theme, according to, was "Christ, Culture, and a Call to Action."

1 - Ethiopian Christians lose their lives at hands of ISIS

Last Sunday, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, as well as Daesh, released another video depicting the execution of Christians.  This time, it was an estimated 28 Ethiopian Christians who lost their lives in Libya, according to Christianity Today, which points out that 20 Coptic (Egyptian) Christians and a sub-Saharan African had lost their lives at the hands of ISIS in Libya.

The CT story quotes Christian Solidarity Worldwide's description of the video.  It states:
The exact numbers of victims in the latest incident cannot be confirmed. The video of the executions, entitled “Until there came to them clear evidence”, switches between a scene on a beach in eastern Libya, where an estimated 15 men in orange boiler suits are beheaded by masked militants in camouflage, and a scene in a desert area in southern Libya where similarly dressed Daesh members execute a similar number of men in black boiler suits by shooting them in the head. A subtitle refers to both groups of victims as "worshippers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian church."
The CSW report goes on to say that the video includes scenes depicting the destruction of churches in Syria and Iraq.  It also condemns the doctrine of the Trinity as a form of apostasy.   An English-speaking masked narrator dressed in black warns that "the nation of the cross" must either embrace Islam, pay the jizya tax, or face death.  The speaker reportedly made a reference to how Christians in Mosul were told to convert to Islam or pay the jizya. The speaker says, "The Christians never cooperated."

As CT points out, the video was released the same day the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, arrived in Cairo to offer condolences for the previous martyrs in Libya.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The 3 - April 19, 2015

Three more stories of relevance to the Christian community in this edition of The 3, my week-in-review feature:  A story emerged this week regarding an American court's order to pay multiple millions to the family of a missionary who lost his life in prison there.  Also, word has spread about Christians being thrown overboard from a rubber boat full of migrants on the Mediterranean Sea. Plus, another blow to the opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which grants special rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

3 - Court orders North Korea to pay millions to family of missionary

After a ruling on April 9, news spread this past week about a ruling by a Federal district court in Washington, DC, ordering North Korea to pay $330 million in damages to the family of a Presbyterian pastor kidnapped by agents 15 years ago, who died in prison camp. has reported the story.  Kim Dong Shik was a naturalized US citizen and father of seven, who was kidnapped by North Korean spies while working with refugees in the Chinese border town of Yungi. At the time, he ran shelters and “The School of Love” for handicapped and refugee children whose families had escaped North Korea.

The story said court documents stated that, “The North Korean security service learned of Reverend Kim’s activities on behalf of the defectors and refugees and decided to kidnap him and bring him to North Korea to thwart his work on behalf of those who have escaped."

According to the story, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat Hadin, the Israeli group that represented Kim’s family, told the Jerusalem Post that the decision is a blow against “state sponsored terrorism.”

The family sued under the “terrorism exception” to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

Asher Perlin, a lawyer for the Kims, reportedly told the Washington Post that the family will likely try to collect money from North Korean assets that are frozen in the United States.  In the future, North Korea may have to pay up.

2 - Religious conflict at sea: Christians thrown overboard

The news came over the weekend that perhaps as many as 700 migrants who were being smuggled to Europe drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, according to a report on website, which said that the accident happened after the migrants saw a merchant ship in the distance and scrambled to attract its attention, over-balancing the fishing boat in which they were travelling.

This incident occurred just days after 400 others drowned last week in a similar incident.

The website reported that the deaths have prompted fresh calls for Europe to reinstate full-scale search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean.  Last October, the EU opted not to replace the Italian-run operation Mare Nostrum, which saved about 100,000 lives last year, amid fears that it was encouraging smugglers and migrants to organize more trips to Europe.

And, in the midst of this overall situation of people migrating from Libya to Europe has come a report that, according to, 15 Muslim migrants have been arrested on charges that they threw a dozen Christians off a boat to drown in the Mediterranean Sea.  All 12 are feared dead.

Last Tuesday, 105 passengers boarded a rubber boat to travel from Libya to Italy, where they were seeking asylum as refugees. During the journey, Muslims aboard became agitated when they learned that some passengers professed the Christian faith. They had threatened to abandon the Christians and later began seizing the Christian passengers and throwing them into the water.

The story on the website gives some background:
According to reports, there has been an enormous influx of refugees in recent weeks as thousands from the Middle East and Africa have been flocking to Italy in an attempt to escape war and poverty, as well as Islamic terror from groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram. Just over the past week, an estimated 10,000 people—Christians and Muslims alike—have arrived in Italy from Libya.
On Thursday, Italian officials requested help from the European Union with rescuing those who are risking their lives to make the journey to the country.

1 - Houston HERO referendum petition drive falls short, judge says

Last year, the City Council in Houston, Texas passed what is known as the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, creating special rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity.   Concerned citizens moved to try to gather signatures on a petition in order to hold a referendum on the ordinance.  Even though opponents of the ordinance thought they had exceeded the required number of signatures, city officials had ruled that the petition drive fell short.  That determination was challenged in court, and the presiding judge has issued a ruling.

According to a WORLD Magazine story, Judge Robert Schaffer had dismissed some of the findings of the jury in the case, which had ruled in favor of the city.  Schaffer established new criteria for determining which voter signatures the court would accept, beginning two months of wrangling over legibility, residency, and the identities of the petition circulators.

In his final ruling, Schaffer found plaintiffs had 16,648 applicable signatures, 585 below the requisite 17,269 but 65 more than the defense allowed in its final judgment.

Andy Taylor, the lone attorney for the Houston Area Pastors' Council, said that the judge's judgment set a dangerous precedent requiring legible signatures on each page of the petition from the people circulating it, a subjective standard with the judge as the final arbiter.  WORLD reports that if the circulator signature on a petition page was not legible, than all voter signatures on that page were disqualified. After Schaffer affirmed that standard in a post-trial ruling, the city’s number of invalid signatures due to circulator illegibility rose to 8,500, Taylor said.  The plaintiffs plan to appeal the decision.

The outcome was different in Springfield, MO, where a seemingly similar ordinance, passed by the City Council, was reversed by the voters by a narrow margin on April 7, according to a piece on the website.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The 3 - April 12, 2015

This week on The 3, my week-in-review feature, the topic of so-called "gay conversion therapy" is in the news, and another state has turned back an attempt to ban this practice, which offers hope for change.  Also, this week, Kansas is the first state to ban a particularly gruesome abortion procedure, and Oklahoma could be joining it as the second.  The top story involves a legal brief filed on behalf of a number of Christian groups and individuals, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the ruling in favor of traditional marriage in 4 states.

3 - Colorado lawmakers reject a ban on "gay conversion therapy" for young people, President voices support for nationwide ban 

This week, a type of therapy which has been named "gay conversion therapy" is in the news.  Anne Paulk of the Restored Hope Network writes on the organization's Facebook page:
"Conversion Therapy" is a phrase that the gay activists have come up with to describe sexual orientation and identity change efforts. They surely chose that moniker to connect it with negative stereotypes. The current proposed bills in state legislatures have morphed from anti-"reparative therapy" bills into ones seeking to disallow a therapeutic objective chosen by the client who is under 18 years old.
State legislatures have attempted to ban this practice, and as Anne points out, last year 14 such attempts to ban it have failed, and she thinks that attempts this year will be stalled.  As Dr. Michael Brown points out in a piece on, "There is a reason that, with the exception of California, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, attempts to outlaw "conversion therapy" have failed, and that is because the truth is trumping the lies."

Colorado is one of the latest states to deflect an attempt to ban this type of therapy.  A story opens by stating:
A Colorado senate committee voted to continue to allow people the freedom to choose therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions.  The committee voted down HB 1175 that would have limited a minor’s access to such therapy.
Dr. Brown says, "...there are countless reports of success stories from professional counseling, and many of them have stood the test of time. That means that such therapy often does work."

In the CitizenLink piece, Jeff Johnston, sexuality analyst for Focus on the Family, is quoted as saying that there is a lot of misinformation out there about the therapy. As part of his testimony before the senate committee, Johnston made these points:
  • Counseling is not harmful, in fact, it has helped a lot of people.
  • Good therapy is not coercive – you can’t force someone to change.
  • Banning Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) for minors is a serious intrusion on freedom of speech, religious freedom and parental rights.
This week, as reported, President Obama has voiced his support for a White House petition that would ban so-called "conversion therapy" for young people, referring to a USA Today piece.  The petition calls for the government to “Enact Leelah’s Law to Ban All LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy.” The proposed law is named for Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who committed suicide in December 2014 after undergoing conversion therapy.  Senior advisor Valerie Jarrett is quoted as saying, "the overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm..."

Brown discussed some of this research in his piece:
...the alleged damage done by such therapy is often highly exaggerated and sometimes completely manufactured, while scientific studies challenging this are often suppressed by the gay activist lobby in the professional psychological and psychiatric associations. In keeping with this (and as I documented in "A Queer Thing Happened to America"), the media's reporting about the APA's Task Force study on "conversion therapy" was quite inaccurate, also failing to mention that every member of the Task Force was either openly gay (and, for the most, known for gay activist stances) or else a strong gay activist ally. And it is their study that is constantly quoted as "proof" that this professional counseling is negative and harmful.
Paulk states:
The end goal of the gay anti-“conversion,” “reparative, ” and change therapy movement is to stop counselors from being able to help clients work on their goals of change from unwanted same-sex attraction, behavior or identity. The easiest method: to disparage and defame a body of licensed counselors using stories that have not been investigated. In fact, the harms claimed by some would have resulted in licensing removal by state oversight committees already in place.
Why then do we have no official complaints about horrible methodology to the licensing authorities? Knowing this, even Washington State oversight authorities had to admit that they had ZERO complaints lodged against therapists to be investigated. 
Brown says that:
I am certainly not advocating parents forcing their children into some kind of high-pressure, coercive counseling, and I advise every parent with a child who identifies as LGBT to show them their unconditional love.
At the same time, I absolutely support the right of a minor to receive professional counseling for unwanted same-sex attraction or gender-identity confusion...
So, supporters of so-called "gay conversion therapy," or SOCE, are quite confident in the ability of this type of therapy to help people who are struggling with, as Dr. Brown refers to them, "unwanted same-sex attraction or gender-identity confusion."  These success stories provide compelling evidence countering the thought people identified as "gay" cannot change their sexual orientation.

2 - KS bans dismemberment abortions, OK Senate passes ban

Kansas has become the first state in the nation to ban a particularly gruesome type of abortion, which has been named a "dismemberment" abortion.  According to, the bill, signed by Governor Sam Brownback, bans dilation and evacuation abortions, which involve dismembering babies during their removal from the womb. The bill passed the Senate 31-9 earlier this year and moved to the House where it likewise was approved 98-26.

The story says that this practice is common among second trimester abortions, which begins as early as 14 weeks. In the procedure, the child’s heart is stopped and then the body is extracted in pieces and arranged on a tray to ensure that all the parts have been removed from the mother.

And, reports that the Senate in Oklahoma has approved similar legislation, which has been sent to Governor Fallin for her signature, which the website says is expected.

In that story, National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., is quoted: “Dismemberment abortion kills a baby by tearing her apart limb from limb,” adding, “Before the first trimester ends, the unborn child has a beating heart, brain waves, and every organ system in place. Dismemberment abortions occur after the baby has reached these milestones.”  The website reports that model legislation provided by National Right to Life is also under consideration in the legislatures of Missouri and South Carolina.

1 - NRB, religious organizations file friend-of-the-court brief in favor of traditional marriage

The U.S. Supreme Court will be holding oral arguments later this month in the case that has been named, Obergefell v. Hodges, which deals with the subject of so-called same-sex marriage.  National Religious Broadcasters announced this week on its website,, the filing of a friend-of-the-court brief on April 2nd by Christian legal advocacy organization Liberty Institute on behalf of a number of religious organizations and Christian leaders.

In the brief, "...the Justices are asked to affirm the Sixth Circuit decision upholding marriage laws in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, and to expressly affirm the First Amendment free speech rights of Christian ministers, teachers, and leaders who are compelled by faith and conscience to preach and speak aloud their millennia-old and sincerely held religious view that marriage is the sacred union of one man and one woman."

According to the NRB website, NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson noted how it became increasingly apparent in recent weeks that “the forces that insist upon changing the definition of marriage are willing to jettison our free speech and religious liberties to do so.”  He stated, "This brief is needed to warn the Court of this danger."

The website quotes Dr. Johnson:  "There is no way a constitutional right to homosexual, so-called, ‘marriage’ can be invented by the courts and enforced without using the police power of the state to impose cooperation by its citizens, and that is in violation of the 1st Amendment,” adding, “For those who think sexual liberty trumps religious liberty, they need to be reminded that the free exercise of religion is explicitly framed into the Constitution. The same is not so for sexual rights, especially not a revolutionary redefinition of marriage."

Signatories of the brief include the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan's Purse, In Touch Ministries, Pathway to Victory, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and more, in addition to pastors Charles Stanley and Robert Jeffress, as well as other Christian organizations and leaders.

And, this past week the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention announced its "Pray for Marriage" initiative.  On the ERLC website,, in a special "#PrayForMarriage" section, this sample prayer guide is posted:
  • God designed marriage as a way to prosper creation and to reflect his gospel (Gen. 2; Rom. 13; Eph. 5). Pray that all people, including governing authorities, would honor the institution of marriage.
  • God can turn the hearts and minds of the justices to do his will (Prov. 21:1). Pray for the Supreme Court justices, that they would be receptive to the arguments being made passionately before them.
  • God can guide the mind and speech (Exod. 4:11-12). Pray for lead attorneys who will be arguing on behalf of the states seeking to uphold marriage. Ask God to give them clarity and wisdom, for their arguments to be persuasive, and for God to give them favor before the justices. 
  • God can give understanding to make sound decisions (Prov. 2:6-8). Pray for those who disagree with us, that God would help them understand and respect the opinions of those whose definition of marriage is grounded in the biblical witness.
  • God is sovereign (Gen. 50:20). We ought to pray and hope for the best but plan for what Justice Scalia predicted in 2013: “As far as this Court is concerned, no one should be fooled; it is just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe.” Even in the event of a bad decision, marriage will always be what marriage truly is.
As a Christian, I choose to pray for God's design for marriage and the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the national definition of marriage.
I choose not to despair. I choose to keep my eyes focused on our Lord, in whom my true hope lies. I choose to remember the Truth about marriage -- that God created it as the union of a man and a woman -- no matter what the Court says.
I will pray for marriage and our nation's families, children and religious freedom.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

The 3 - April 5, 2015

This week in my week-in-review feature, The 3, we take a closer look at the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear the latest appeal in the case involving New York City churches renting public school facilities.  Also, a brutal attack in Kenya at a university apparently targeted Christians. And, huge stories from the previous week involved the passage of, then revisions of, religious freedom bills in Indiana and Arkansas.

3 - U.S. Supreme Court allows ban on churches using school facilities stand, mayor indicates that he may lift it

A case that has been in the court system for some 20 years took another turn this past week at the U.S. Supreme Court.   The original lawsuit filed by the Bronx Household of Faith, a church in New York City, contested the city's ban on churches renting public school facilities for the purpose of worship.  This week, according to the website of the Alliance Defending Freedom, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to leave in place an appeals court ruling that upheld a city ban on worship services in public school buildings during non-school hours.

ADF says that many eyes are turning to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and it reports that:
The high court did not overturn its precedent that appears clearly to run counter to such policies, but it did decline to disturb a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruling that upheld the city’s policy. That move leaves the decision squarely in the lap of de Blasio, who has the power to revoke the policy and expressed his disagreement with it immediately after the 2nd Circuit’s ruling.
Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, which has represented Bronx Household of Faith for 20 years in its legal battle against the city’s policy, is quoted as saying: “Any community group can meet in New York City’s school buildings during non-school hours for any purpose – except for religious groups meeting to worship God. This policy is clearly nothing more than religious segregation – the kind of segregation the mayor has said he opposes."

Last year, after the 2nd Circuit made its ruling, de Blasio said at a press conference, according to ADF, “I stand by my belief that a faith organization playing by the same rules as any community non-profit deserves access," adding, “You know, they have to go through the same application process, wait their turn for space, pay the same rent – but I think they deserve access. They play a very, very important role in terms of providing social services and other important community services, and I think they deserve that right.”

2 - Christians singled out in attack at a Kenyan university

An attack by a terrorist group at a Garissa University College in Kenya has left some 150 people dead, and apparently Christians were a prime target.  According to a report on the website, in the Gleanings section, a spokesperson for the militant Al-Shabaab group had confirmed to Reuters that the Somali militants had deliberately gone after Christians.

Another Al-Shabaab spokesperson told the AFP that militants had "released the Muslims" but that they were holding others hostage.

Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage is quoted as saying, "Our people are still there, they are fighting, and their mission is to kill those who are against the Shabaab."

On Thursday, WORLD reported that Kenyan officials said they had killed four attackers and ended a hostage standoff at Garissa University College that began early that morning. After the shooting stopped, security personnel reportedly freed dozens of hostages.

CT quotes Christian Solidarity Worldwide as saying:
Al Shabaab attacks in Kenya have increased since October 2011, when Kenya’s army joined international efforts to stabilise Somalia following the cross-border abductions of foreign tourists by the group. It formally aligned itself with al Qaeda in 2012, although reports of foreign fighters amongst its ranks predated this announcement. There have been three attacks in the last two years in which the group has separated hostages according to religious identity and murdered them accordingly; the siege at Westgate Shopping Mall in September 2013, the hijacking of a bus travelling from Mandera to Nairobi in November 2014, and the attack on a quarry in Mandera in December 2014.

1 - Religious freedom bills revised in Indiana, Arkansas

Recently, lawmakers in two states - Indiana and Arkansas - passed bills designed to protect religious freedom, consistent with the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was a key component in the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which found in favor of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties as they sought legal protection from having to comply with a mandate to provide free contraception and drugs that could cause abortion in their health care plans.

The bills passed in those two states were met with strong opposition from the LGBT community, as well as some in the corporate sector.  Governor Mike Pence of Indiana demanded that the state assembly rework the bill as it was passed and as he had signed.  Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, after initially indicating he would sign the bill as it came out of the state legislature, requested a new bill. The main objection: opponents said that the bills would authorize so-called "discrimination" based on sexual orientation or gender identity.   Supporters wanted to protect individuals and businesses from being forced to act by the government in a manner that would violate their religious beliefs.

So, what came out of these state legislatures and what was signed into law by the respective governors?  The outcomes were different in the two states.  The Family Research Council's Washington Update at made the distinction.  First of all, regarding the "fix" in Indiana:
After huddling with CEOs and LGBT groups, the legislative leadership unveiled a new law that not only guts the state's newly enacted Religious Freedom Restoration Act but imposes punishing fines on people who follow their beliefs about marriage. While most were expecting some kind of 'clarification,' few expected the proposed law that outrageously contemplates criminal prosecution for business owners who decline to be a party to a same-sex ceremony. The proposal doesn't directly create criminal punishment, but for the first time establishes that if the legislature were ever to adopt criminal penalties in the future, a religious freedom claim would provide NO DEFENSE against imprisonment. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty describes the proposed language as making "specific allowances for criminal prosecution."
FRC states in its Thursday update that:
Meanwhile there was a better outcome in Arkansas in the tussle over their Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This afternoon the legislature approved and Governor Asa Hutchinson immediately held a ceremony where he signed into law an amended RFRA that mirrors the 1993 federal RFRA. "I think it's sending the right signal," said Governor Hutchinson.
The piece goes on to say that:
Arkansas Family Council President Jerry Cox had it right this afternoon when he said, "If the Arkansas General Assembly passes Senate Bill 975, most of what we were trying to accomplish will have been done. The original religious freedom bill, H.B. 1228, was the Rolls Royce of religious freedom laws. S.B. 975, the replacement bill, is a Cadillac."
According to the Alliance Defending Freedom website, ADF Senior Counsel Kristin Waggoner echoed concerns about the Indiana law, stating:
“The religious freedom law is a good law. It does not pick winners or losers, but allows courts to weigh the government’s and people’s interests fairly and directs judges to count the cost carefully when freedom is at stake. The new proposal unjustly deprives citizens their day in court, denies freedom a fair hearing, and rigs the system in advance. It gives the government a new weapon against individual citizens who are merely exercising freedoms that Americans were guaranteed from the founding of this country. Surrendering to deception and economic blackmail never results in good policy.”

According to the website, ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell said regarding the revised law,  “Government should protect people’s freedom to follow their beliefs in their lives and work. We commend the governor’s decision to support a law that does this. Government shouldn’t be able to punish Americans for exercising basic civil rights. Religious freedom laws ensure that freedom gets a fair hearing, and they limit the government’s power to intrude on our liberties. We hope other states join Arkansas and many others in adopting similar laws.”